Paradise, Piece by PieceBook - 1998
You can ask that a book tell a compelling story, that it dazzle you with virtuosic writing, that its emotional content be pure and stirring, that the issues it tackles be timely and relevant and put forth with the utmost clarity and candor and a tonic dose of humor. Once in a very rare while, all such expectations will be rewarded. And sometimes they will even be exceeded, as they are in Molly Peacock's magnificent memoir, Paradise, Piece by Piece.
The book she has written describes the coming of age of a poet and the choices she made at various stages of her life that shaped her fate and informed her art. It is also the coming-of-age of a woman that speaks to the most intimate questions a woman can ask of herself and answers them with courageous introspection. It is the story of a child asked to grow up too soon, of the complicated web of relationships in which we define ourselves, of love and friendship and finding peace. It shimmers with intelligence and insight and takes the breath away with its poetry. In the same way that The Liar's Club took Mary Karr from respected poet to literary star, Paradise, Piece by Piece will firmly establish Molly Peacock as a marvelous new voice in American letters.